October 6, 2011 by Alison Grisham
By Alison Grisham
I finally went to get my new eyeglasses yesterday. For over a year I’ve been getting by with some cheap, off-the-rack readers. But I’ve gotten to that stage in my life where I need one prescription for actual reading and another one just to help me walk around… that is if I want to quit apologizing to inanimate objects for bumping into them. Of course I also carry pairs in my purse and keep extras for back-up since I lose the originals with surprising regularity. By the sheer number of eyeglasses I have lying around, you’d think Foster Grant was living with me.
Ultimately I had to bite the bullet and get my eyesight straightened out. Unfortunately, two different prescriptions can mean only one thing… progressive lenses… which is really just a polite way of saying… bi-focals.
So I began the process of selecting frames and eventually ended up with about 30 possible candidates. The next step was the elimination process, which involved looking into a small but powerful mirror so I could get a better look at each pair. Ok, for the record, I’d rather be dipped into a swampy pool of leaches than see myself in that mirror ever again.
Every little spot, vein, and blemish came into view with remarkable clarity. I could barely recognize myself. But I’m sure the look of panic made it easy to read my thoughts. Holy moon craters! Are those my pores? I could plant pumpkin seeds in those things. But the worst was yet to come. I spotted it just below my chin. There it was, all dark and defiant… just growing there for all to see… a long unsightly hair protruding from my face. I’m not talking about a hair the size of an eyelash here. I’m talking about a monster so long that it had started to curl at the end, which only seemed to give it dimension. What in the world? There’s a ponytail on my neck?
Now remember, I was picking out eyeglasses. It’s not like I could say, “hey hold on a minute while I trim my beard.” No. I had to be subtle about it. So I casually put my hand under my chin, as if I was mulling something over, and pretty much left it that way for the next 30 minutes.
The rogue hair… as it turned out… was ¾ of an inch long. I know because I measured it right after I removed it with hedge clippers, which brings me to my point. This thing didn’t just creep up over night. Clearly, it’s been renting space on my chin for quite a while. So where were my friends? Why didn’t anyone tell me?
In light of this incident, I’m making the following plea for aging women everywhere. If you see someone with a giant piece of spinach stuck in her teeth… mention it. If you see a friend’s zipper open, shirt unbuttoned, mascara running, a make-up line on her face, toilet paper stuck to the bottom of her foot, or something unsightly hanging from her nose… mention it. And without question, if you see a toupee growing out of your girlfriend’s chin… tell her. It’s your womanly duty.
At any rate, I’ve learned my lesson. I gave the mirror my email address and we’re having lunch next week. She’s not great to look at. But at least she’s honest.